As the release date for Aquaman draws ever nearer, many are wondering just how powerful the DCEU's Arthur Curry is compared to other DC Extended Universe heroes like Superman and if the soon-to-be King of the Seven Seas could match the Man of Steel in a fight. It's a fair question given that Aquaman's power levels in the comics have fluctuated wildly over the years. Most people would be surprised to know that Aquaman has fought Superman several times and held his own more often than not.
It should be noted first and foremost that Aquaman possesses far greater powers than merely breathing underwater and talking to fish. As a half-Atlantean, his body is uniquely adapted to life in a marine environment, granting him strength, speed, dexterity, and durability far greater than those of an ordinary human. His body is capable of withstanding the ship-crushing pressures of the deepest parts of the ocean, making him effectively bulletproof against most standard munitions. He is also an experienced fighter, capable of going toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman in a one-on-one fight.
Arthur Curry's most recent battles in the comics speak to his power and skill as perhaps the best overall fighter in the Justice League. A recent issue of the Justice League comic book saw him fighting Wonder Woman to a stand-still, when they had both been telepathically manipulated into seeing one another as Black Manta and The Cheetah - their respective worst enemies. While he is not as strong as Superman, Aquaman was able to take repeated punches from Superman and keep fighting during The Drowning - the storyline that kicked-off the DC Rebirth Aquaman series. This is an impressive feat, even allowing for the fact that Clark Kent was probably holding back in fighting his friend and teammate at a time when Aquaman was wanted for war crimes by the American government.
Unfortunately, Aquaman (and the rest of the Justice League) haven't fared as well fighting Superman in the DC Extended Universe. While Batman was able to defeat Superman in a one-on-one fight in Batman V. Superman, he had Kryptonite on hand and Superman was not fighting with all of his might at the time. The combined strengths of the Justice League later proved insufficient to take on an enraged and confused Superman, who didn't hold back at all.
It should be noted, however, that individual Atlanteans in the DCEU are nearly as strong as Superman, as was revealed on the Aquaman set visit. Yet it is unclear if, as in the comics, the Arthur Curry of the DCEU is as strong and durable as a full-blooded Atlantean, much less as powerful as his comic-book counterpart.
Thankfully, Aquaman does have one advantage Superman can't counter - access to magical weaponry. Superman has no special defense against magic and the events of the Aquaman movie will see Arthur Curry gaining access to his trademark weapon, The Trident of Atlan. Back during the production of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder even claimed that Aquaman's trident could cut the Man of Steel's skin. Armed with that and a willingness to not hold back in a fight when necessary, Aquaman could conceivably take down Superman if circumstances required it. Thankfully, we know Superman will not be appearing in the Aquaman movie, so the matter will not need to be tested... yet.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019